November 09, 2018

Six states approve controversial Marsy’s Law amendment


On November 6, voters in six states, including Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Nevada, North Carolina, and Oklahoma, approved a controversial ballot measure known as Marsy’s Law amendment, a model amendment that typically provides a set of constitutional protections for crime victims. Five of these states will now alter their constitutions to include the proposed changes.

The model amendment includes provisions for:

• right to be notified about and present at proceedings against the perpetrator

• right to be involved in release and sentencing of the perpetrator

• right to be protected from the accused

• right to receive restitution

The model amendment expands the definition of the term “victim” to include: those directly affected by the crime and any “spouse, parent, grandparent, child, sibling, grandchild, or guardian, and any person with a relationship to the victim that is substantially similar to a listed relationship.”

However, the American Civil Liberties Union opposed Marsy's Law, calling it "poorly drafted" and "a threat to existing constitutional rights."

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